Friends- Assets or Liability?

 

We all have friends at some point of time if not always. However, there is a mark difference between friends and the true friends. Many friends are actually just attention seekers, opportunity driven Peoples who pretend to be your friends for getting some benefits. Do not confuse them with your true friends. These peoples are your social connections. Such peoples will treat you well as long as you are useful to them. In your good time, they will be with you but in bad time, they will run away.

True friends are the one who will always be there in your difficult times and will give you right advice whether you like it or not. True friends are assets we all must have. Such friends make your life good and remain loyal to your family long after you gone. It is very difficult to find such friends but once you find them make sure you never lose them. There is no standard procedure to find or make true friends. The only way is to be genuine with your friends and be with them in their difficult time.

When things are progressing well in our life, we do not realize any need of support and help from any one. Unfortunately, such pleasant phases do not last longer for most of us. When some unfortunate, unpleasant and unplanned thing occurs in our life, we look all around for helping hand and shoulder to lean on. In such time, if you find your true friends besides you, life becomes easier. My concept of sustainable society is also driven with same notion. Click here to read about sustainable society. 

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Lazy Brain

We are lazy by default to save energy for emergency. Accepting things without investigating takes less energy so we tend to believe things rather investigating about it. We, human, are the pattern seeking animals. Our subconscious start looking for patter and make decision before our conscious mind start thinking. Our sub conscious is fast, powerful and active; where as our conscious mind is intelligent but lazy. Below is very interesting example where most of the people give wrong answer. This is a good example of how our mind work.

Ronaldo’s father has 5 sons:

Zazo

Zezo

Zizo

Zozo

……..

Guess the name of fifth son?

Please answer in comment section.

 

Silent Cry!

How will you feel if you have your own baby but you are not in a position to call him/her your baby? You want to cherish him/her, but you can’t! For an Author, his work, his book is like a baby. He is the one who give birth to it, after conceiving it sometimes more than nine month in his head. However, out of fear of his life, if he is unable to publish it or publish it with someone else name (pen name), the feeling is same as feeling of a mother who is unable to call her child her own. Freedom for expression and freedom of speech are good slogan, but they only exist until you are talking in favour of government, religion and society. As you open your mouth to speak against government, religion and society you lose all freedom.

There are two ways you can learn-hard way and easy way.  Hard way is try doing yourself, make mistakes and learn. Easy way is learn from other mistakes. If Salman Rushdie-Author of “Satanic Verses” knew that his book will cause bloody protest and death sentence for him, he might not published it with his name or might have edited some parts before publishing. He learn about the reality in hard way. Salman Rushdie was not brave to write such book; he was ignorant about his own community. If you are brave but not stupid, you can learn from Rushdie and many other such examples in easy way and avoid writing against some particular religions or at least take some precautions like keep your identity hidden.

The only reason people are afraid of truth is that they abide in falsehood. They neither want to be exposed not want to accept truth. The only way they can achieve their goal is by snatching your freedom of speech. What an ignorant and obdurate attitude is this! I mean, the first step in correcting yourself is to recognize you were wrong. Instead of recognizing your mistake if you are adamant that your world view is right and you are not willing to accept anything else, you will never ever find truth. You will always live in your own self-made wonderland.

What is the point in living in darkness even though that darkness console you? There is a saying by Plato “we can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” He said it 2500 years ago, and ironically, it is still valid in 21st century. Why people afraid of light is a big question? One reason might be Cognitive Dissonance.

disbelief

 

Children are hard-wired to reject everything against their belief through indoctrination. As they grow up, they do not want to listen anything against their faith. When someone present them, a rational analysis of their irrational believes or when someone mildly criticize their superstitions, they became aggressive because logically they cannot prove their religious faith. Because Faith by definition, does not require any evidence. They start attacking your logical arguments as illogical and immoral from their standpoint. However, they fail to realize that morals are not absolute; they are relative to your belief. Religious Peoples draw their morals from their sacred scriptures believed to be written by GOD. In this case, if God of religion is pro human, we find pro human morals. Else, morals might be anti-feminist or caste and race based. Religion like Judaism teaches that Jews are chosen one. Hinduism teaches rigid caste system. Christianity for long time supported Slavery system. In Shia Muslims, Muta (Short Contract marriage) is still in practice.

Anything that is against religion is unacceptable to the followers. Everything else, they are open to accept from same source. Whether you have concrete evidence or logical arguments, nothing suffice to trans pass faith. It seems that doors of mind opens from inside not outside. You keep on knocking from outside but it will not yield any result. As long as people’s will not understand that they are victim of cognitive dissonance and unconscious biases (click here to know more about unconscious biases), they will not even try to overcome it.

There is a very thin line between brevity and stupidity. Intellectuals around the globe are forced to cry silently for their right for freedom of expression and free speech. Because even slight criticism about some religions and governments can make their life in danger.

How to deal with unconscious biases

 

Ever wonder repenting after doing something wrong with someone else like getting angry on trivial things, writing or speaking hateful word, condemning some action without logical reasons etc. If we are fully in-charge of our self, why we repent after doing things? Because many things which we do, we do without thinking consciously. Our sub-conscious acts before we finish our rational analysis, and our sub-conscious has many biases acquired during our childhood. These are called unconscious biases. Consciously we believe we are free but actually we all have unconscious biases towards others.

Below are some of the steps  you can follow as a good way to begin fighting bias in yourself. It is taken from Blog “HOW STEREOTYPES AND BIASES CAN EVOLVE A PERSON.”

  1. Pay attention to how your bias shapes your environment

Eliminating the impact of bias in your life requires you to acknowledge that it exists in the first place. Acknowledging that you have unconscious bias is not admitting a moral failing—this is part of the human condition.

Start a campaign of self-awareness, paying attention to the subtle ways in which bias may be impacting your behavior. Ask yourself: Are there people at work I always ask for advice, and others I ignore? Who is part of my friend group, and who might be missing?

You can also take an inventory of whom you trust. Just off the top of your head, name the top few people you would call if you received bad news or great news. How are those people similar to or different from you? Most of us trust others who are similar to us in significant ways.

Lastly, take an inventory of the media you are consuming—including news, books, music, TV shows, and movies. Are their perspectives basically similar to yours? Are the characters or authors telling stories that represent a different context from your own?

Once we acknowledge our bias and begin to pay attention to how it impacts us, we will be ready to do the work to overcome it.

  1. Expose yourself to counter-stereotypical images

One of the most powerful ways to combat unconscious bias is to diversify the stories we encounter, so that we can connect with the humanity of people who may look and sound different to us. This means watching movies, reading books, or attending performances that target groups we are less familiar with.

It can also mean purposefully seeking inspiration from moral exemplars of different ethnicities, races, genders, and abilities. Studies have shown that being exposed to counter-stereotypical images and stories of people from other groups leads to less implicit bias.

My co-author, Tiffany Jana, shares a story in our book about how this worked for her. After a few negative experiences with Indian people in her workplace, she developed an unconscious bias against them, which she discovered later in her life was causing her to avoid all Indians. As she says:

It was not until I served on the board of directors for an innovative art gallery that my bias began to subside. I worked side-by-side with one of the most brilliant, engaging, and kind people I have ever known. My friend Prabir worked tirelessly to help the gallery become an East Coast destination and shape downtown Richmond, Virginia’s arts and culture scene. Five years of working toward the goal of bringing art to a great community alongside someone different from me changed my perspective and openness toward his entire demographic.

  1. Reach out across difference

We can also seek ways to connect with people who are different from us in our everyday lives, whether at work or in our personal life.

That means keeping your eyes open and looking for opportunities rather than waiting for them to fall into your lap. For example, when you go to a work or social event, don’t simply scan the crowd for people you already know; look for people you don’t know—who might seem different from you—and see if you can strike up a conversation. Simple contact can be a powerful way to combat bias.

I took this step in my own life by joining an African-American church. As the only white person there, I initially felt awkward, unaware of social norms, and unfamiliar with the style of worship. Over time, however, I formed deep and meaningful relationships that have lasted over a decade, long after I stopped attending that church. The proactive step of seeking to make myself a minority in an everyday part of my life paid off through helping me take off my cultural blinders and form relationships with people I would have never met otherwise.

  1. Ask, don’t assume; listen, don’t judge

Once you expand your comfort zone through building new relationships and consuming different media, it becomes easier to include more people in your own circles of trust. And research has shown that cross-group friendships can make a big difference in reducing prejudice and bias.

But how to create that trust? By learning to ask rather than assume, and to listen rather than judge. In this way, we can stop the disconnection that may arise through misunderstanding.

In psychologist Beverly Tatum’s excellent book on racial identity development, Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? She writes about how a typical racial disconnect happens between grade-school friends at a very young age.

Imagine an African-American student has a negative interaction with a teacher, which she perceives as racially motivated. She shares this with her lifelong white friend, whose immediate response is, “That teacher is great; I’m sure she isn’t racist!” That is the moment, according to Tatum, when self-segregation begins and kids start to look for others who can understand and discuss their experiences.

The antidote to this disconnection is authentic listening and learning to ask meaningful questions. Your friend’s interpretation of her negative experience may not be correct—perhaps the teacher wasn’t being racist or sexist. But if your first reaction is to tell her she’s wrong before you even listen to her, you are driving a wedge between you.

To authentically connect with people across differences, you must suspend your own judgment long enough to actually hear their experiences. Ask open-ended questions and seek to understand rather than to challenge or convince.

As hard as it can feel to confront your unconscious biases, with motivation and effort these simple steps can set you down that path. And building authentic relationships across differences is an essential part of your journey.

 

To make the post short, some parts are edited.

For full article click on below link:

 

https://venitism.wordpress.com/2018/03/18/how-stereotypes-and-biases-can-evolve-a-person/

 

War and Peace:

Part-1: WARS

Whenever I start believing we are living in most peaceful time ever, I found some disturbing pictures of mass killing and wars on social media. Last time it was Myanmar, now it is Syria. It seems like Muslims are becoming soft target everywhere. Partially Muslims are responsible for it. They keep fighting each other. Nevertheless, as Indian home minister rightly said during Gujarat riots, “one injustice cannot justify other injustice”

Waging war without proper investigation, without trying peaceful diplomatic solutions, is immoral. All nations must respect sovereignty of other Nations. If something wrong is happening in some country, economic sanctions and diplomatic means must be used by world community rather than waging war. Afghanistan, a war-ruined country, attacked by one of the mighty forces of the world just to capture one person. They toppled the government, destroyed the nation and killed thousands of innocent civilians but they were unable in capturing Osama Bin Laden at that time. CIA was not able to find one person. To capture him, America went on War on Terror. To hide their own failure, they diverted world attention towards war against Afghanistan. Similarly, in IRAQ no weapons of mass destruction were found, yet it was attacked, destroyed and left to breed terrorism. Same was the case with Libya. Blaming only Americans is wrong. Few Muslim countries do not want other gulf countries to have strong Army and economy. Whenever there is a war, they keep quite or help USA and her allies.
In Myanmar, America has no interest. Kill Rohingya peoples, rape them and kick them out of their country but it will neither qualify as Terrorism nor as human right violations. Because in this case it is Muslims who are suffering. Moreover, Myanmar (also known as Burma) does not have Petroleum.
If people like Aung San Suu Kyi (the State Counsellor, a position equivalent to a Prime Minister)  could win Nobel Prize for peace in 1991 without any investigation about her views on Rohingya Minority, I have serious doubt about the transparency and credibility of Nobel Peace Prize. If there is no provision of revoking Nobel Prize, in that case, at least they must criticize Suu Kyi recent acts of supporting violence and covering it up as against the spirit of Nobel peace prize.

PEACE :

Since WWII, there were very few major wars and border disputes across the globe, some are mentioned above. Every country has a well define international border. Though there are, some exceptions but that does not affect development of major economic powers. 70 years of peace for economic super powers means development in science, technology, weapons, literature, art, culture and medicines. More and more countries are striving to develop indigenous technologies. China emerged as fastest growing economy in world.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasing at unprecedented rate. There are two forces working together which are increasing speed of development. First, increase in population of educated youth. Second is human machine interface. For example, computing power increased tremendously paving the way to solve difficult problems. Storing, processing and sharing data is becoming faster. Internet has changed everything. Anyone can learn about the latest technologies around the globe. Countries are spending more on R & D than ever before. We are more connected than ever before across the globe. All these are fruits of Peace in world. If countries can resolve border issues and stop internal civil wars peacefully, this speed of development and prosperity can increase further. Let us force our government to choose peace over war.

How to make life happy by having right attitude towards life.

 

Life is all that we have. Once we are dead, we immediately changed from human being to a dead-body ready to be buried or burned. Before being alive, we were star-dust. Then become sperm and ovum. When sperm combined with ovum, called fertilization, we come into existence. Before life and after life we were nothing but dead matter.

It is so exciting that we are alive and we have power of thinking, contemplating, reasoning and being happy.  Yes, we all have power of being happy inside us. However, we keep searching happiness outside and most often become sad when we fail to found it. Outside happiness depends on others. Do not waste time in finding happiness outside. Internal happiness depends on you. You are in charge of your own happiness. By changing your life style, behavior and thinking you can keep yourself happy. Always cherish good memories. Think about the happiest moment of your life when you feel sad. Keep record of you joyful memories. Write them down and read them when you feel life sucks.

Instead of asking question “why this happened to me”, ask question “how I can change that situation or how can I come out of this situation”. Asking right questions yield right answers. Asking wrong question increase your sorrow and anxiety. Most often, we keep asking wrong questions. When we do not get right answers, we keep cursing our life. Wrong questions can ruin your life. Always avoid them. Your mind is more powerful than you think. It can always generate great ideas if you ask right questions.

Share your happiness with everyone. As happiness increases with sharing. Share your sorrow with a few very close people. No one like people who keep talking about sad things. Be joyful to win more friends. Good friends are assets. Help others. It will give you happiness and satisfaction. Focus on creative enjoyment and avoid destructive enjoyment. Destructive enjoyments are those, which gives you, fake instant happiness but in long-term destroy your body and relationships. You were no longer able to enjoy life. Some examples are substance abuse, smoking, excessive drinking and adultery. Creative enjoyment are sports (except extreme sports), social parties, exercising, talking to loved once, love-making with your spouse, helping other, painting, dancing, listening music, watching comedy and motivational video, gardening, perusing your hobbies etc. Creative enjoyment enhance your health and with healthy body, you can enjoy life for longer time.

Death is inevitable. Yet, we have strange attitude towards death. We do not want to talk about it as if talking will cause us to die. However, death does not work this way. Fearing or trying to running away by not talking about it will not help. Be prepared for your death. Talk about it with your spouse and adult children. Tell them you love them. Tell them, what you expect them to do once you are gone. Write your will. Save some money for your family. In case, you die in an accident your family should be financially secure. If you are living abroad with your family, always keep some money in your bank account and teach your wife how to withdraw money from ATM. Give her ATM pin and phone nos. of most reliable persons who can help her in returning to her Nation.

Spread love, laughter and happiness. Be a source of happiness rather than seeker of happiness. Learn to laugh on yourself and no on will be able to make you feel embarrass.

Astrology is not Science-Part-II

I always advocate one thing. Do not criticize anything until you do not know about it. If you do not understand something, study it. Learn about it. If learning creates more doubt that means most probably, you were right. If learning removes your doubts that’s means you were wrong initially in criticizing it. Nevertheless, when I wrote my last post, I made the same mistake. Without knowing much about astrology, I declared, “Astrology is wrong”. Click here to read my last post.

We all are bias towards our own belief. Since Islam does not support Astrology, I do not need any strong reason to reject Astrology. However, astrology is part of Hindu culture and religion. For them, it is not easy to disbelieve in it so easily. They want others to prove astrology is worng and fail to underatand that burdon of proof is on them because they are making an extra-ordanary claim.

Finally, I decided to learn about Astrology. I search for various astrologers and selected one. In two days, I watched eight videos and took notes. I learn that to be an astrologer you need 2-3 month practice. However, that was not my goal. I wanted to understand basic concept of astrology, how it works and how planets affect us. I acquired more knowledge than an ordinary individual who believe in Astrology and horoscope. Now, I am in better position to comment on Astrology.

I am more confident now that Astrology is not a Science. Astrology is faith-based mythology. There is no truth in it. In fact, no planet affect us by any ways. Gravity of planets is far less than gravity of your nearby objects. Sun being the biggest and the energy powerhouse and moon being closest affect earth. However, they are not planets. Calling them planet is first blunder Astrologers made. Second blunder is considering earth being center and sun, and all planets revolving around earth. Long back Geo-centric theory was disproved by scientist. At present, we know that the Sun is at one foci of planets elliptical orbits. Moon is a satellite orbiting earth. Sun is a star. Earth is also a planet. If any planet affect us more than rest of the planet, it must be earth. Nevertheless, in Astrology there is no space for earth’s effect on us! Astrology deals with only five nearby planets, even though we have eight planets plus Pluto. Size and weight wise only two things matters in our solar system. First, Sun and second is Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. It is approximately 318 times as massive as Earth. If the mass of all of the other planets in the solar system were combined into one Giant planet, Jupiter would still be two and a half times as large as the Giant planet. Sun is almost 10 times larger than the planet Jupiter.

Astrology can at best be defined as ancient astronomy combined with religious mythology. At present, Astronomy and astrology are far more different.

There is a concept in psychology called “cognitive dissonance”. When we have a very strong core belief, anything against it make you feel uncomfortable. You are willing to discard everything how so ever logical which goes against it. For most of the Indian religions (which originated in India like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism etc.) Astrology is one of the core belief. Hence, it is not only difficult for them but somewhat uncomfortable to disbelief in astrology.

Astrology is around 3000 years old. For first 2500 years, when Science was not an organized institute, there was no contender of Astrology. As telescope were perfected , people like Galileo and Copernicus come up with new model of solar system with sun in center and all planets including earth revolving around sun. A new branch of Science originated called Astronomy. If astrology was correct, we never had Astronomy. Astronomy gave us correct and much deeper view of universe. Based on Astronomical findings we are able to send rovers on other planets.

In Vedic Astrology, there are two more mysterious character besides so-called seven physical planets-Rahu and Ketu. Rahu-Ketu is the Sanskrit name given collectively for the Nodes of the Moon. Rahu is the North, and Ketu is the south node of the Moon. They are always directly opposite each other, that is 180 degrees apart. You can read more about Vedic Astrology and mythology by clicking below link at your own risk.

http://vedicastrology.net.au/blog/vedic-articles/rahu-and-ketu/

Based on astrology we can only make guesses. Sometimes they are right, most of the time they are wrong. Whole concept of astrology is flawed. Astrology was developed by those people who didn’t knew the size of planets, eccentric orbits of planets, total no. of planet (they consider only 5 planets and left earth) weight of planets and distance of planets from each other. Moreover, they didn’t knew difference between planet, satellite, sun and star. They treated all the same! Further, they didn’t knew that sun is not revolving around earth. Furthermore, they consider flat earth model while dividing sky in 12 part, each part represent one Zodiac sign.

Mare existance of something for long time does not make it true. Historically many things survived for long period of time but no one believe in their truthness. For example Pyramids were made 3500 years ago and still exists. They were built with a belief that dead person will need all those things which we need while alive. Many stories susrived for thousands years but that does not make them true, if they were not true initially.

This blog is not intended to hurt feelings of any person. Since religion is sensitive issue even mild criticism can hurt someone. I apologise for that in advance. But there is no point in believing pseudo science. With correct world view we can live more meaningful life. Please do not believe in any superstition. Embrace reality.